Blonde and curvey Diana Dors (1931-1984) was ‘The English Marilyn Monroe’. In her own words: “I was the first home-grown sex symbol, rather like Britain's naughty seaside postcards."
Diana Dors began her career on stage while she was only 13. She appeared in her first film at the age of 15, mainly in ‘sexy-girl in background’ roles. The best was the role of Charlotte in ‘Oliver Twist’ (1948, David Lean). Her appeal stemmed from a combination of glamour and humour, coupled with a lack of vanity. A good example of her early appeal comes in ‘Lady Godiva Rides Again’ (1951, Frank Launder) where she's friendly and surprisingly non-threatening, more interested in having fun than in winning. At 20 she was the youngest registered owner of a Rolls Royce in the UK.
Diana Dors got a decent role in ‘The Weak and the Wicked’ (1954, J. Lee Thompson) and people started to believe she could act as well as look decorative. Following this up ‘A Kid for Two Farthings’ (1955, Carol Reed) and her part as a murderess in ‘Yield to the Night’ (1956, J. Lee Thompson) confirmed her talent. She was snapped up by Hollywood, but the studio, RKO, put her into two unsuitable vehicles before a public brawl between her and her husband made Hollywood uncomfortable for them. She came back to Britain, but never quite attained the level she was at before she left. Her role in ‘The Amazing Mr Blunden’ (1972, Lionel Jeffries) got a lot of publicity as she played a slatternly Victorian housekeeper in her sixties. She never stopped working but the films were mostly bad and her roles small. She began to pile on the pounds and rapidly went from blowsy to fat. She'd battled cancer for a number of years but it was a shock when she finally died. For over thirty years she'd lived her life in the headlines, and she was missed. Her third husband, Alan Lake, committed suicide not long after which generated even more headlines.
Sources: Wikipedia, IMDb and British Pictures.com.